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November 2, 2001 - November 2, 2001

With funds flowing in, school rebuilding on in full swing> Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: When local and global media puts the state government under the microscope on the first anniversary of the January 26 earthquake three months from now, Chief Minister Modi is keen that things look good.

Needless to say, his terse directive to the state administration to speed-up repair work before December-end has led to a scramble among the departments to spruce-up their act and deliver in time. But judging by the present standards, only the education department is exuding confidence of living up to the new CM's expectations.

Flush with funds, totalling almost Rs 300 crore that it managed to clinch as non-refundable grant, the education department claims to be the fastest one as far as repair work is concerned.

"We are doing quite well as compared to other sectors and will wind up all repair work in all the 45,000 classrooms by December-end, much before the deadline," said education secretary Varesh Sinha. The department is specially taking pride in propagating that it is for the first time repair work of such a huge magnitude will be done by the community within a record time.

District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) director Avinash Joshi too insists the education department has performed the best so far. "Almost 75 per cent of reconstruction work, which comprises of 2,845 classrooms, have started and will be completed by October 2002. This will be a big achievement," he said.

Department officials say efforts are being made to use the rebuilding process as an upgradation programme, by making value-additions like sanitation units, compound walls, drinking water facilities, furniture, teaching-learning material and space for children-friendly activity areas.

With so much stress on infrastructure alone, questions are now being raised as to what the government is planning to address more pertinent issues like the shockingly high drop-out rate of 48 per cent in the state? This issue assumes significance especially with the confession in the government's Vision 2010 document that infrastructure in terms of schools and classrooms may actually have very little bearing on the literacy level.

The document especially takes note of the fact that though there are schools within one kilometre radius, the drop-out rate is still a disappointing 48 per cent for an industrially-forward state like Gujarat.

Ask the department on whether there is any move to divert the bumper funds received to improve these qualitative aspects of education and the answer is negative.

"We have other projects like 'sarva-shikha abhiyan' and funds will be used from there to check the drop-out rate. Moreover, the drop-out is a bigger problem with secondary schools than in primary schools," said Joshi.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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MSU commerce students threaten to stop exams Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
VADODARA: MSU faculty of commerce student leaders have threatened to stop the first, second and third year examinations, scheduled to start from November 1, if the results of the re-assessment of last exams of all the three years are not declared before November 1.

Faculty of commerce general secretary Rutwij Joshi said he met the MSU registrar 15 months ago to complain about the delay in declaring the reassessment results. "But nothing happened. We therefore met the pro-vice chancellor today. If we do not get the reassessment results before November 1 we won't allow any exams to be held on that day," he threatened.

"Normally reassessment results are declared within 45 days. But this year they are being delayed by more than 75 days. Those who applied for reassessment are now unsure whether they should take the examinations (in case the reassessment results are not in their favour) or wait for the reassessment results. But if they wait for the reassessment results, they stand to lose out.

Normally the second round of examinations should start after the reassessment results of the first exams are out, he said.

Joshi said though the faculty declared the SY BCom results, students are yet to receive the "no change in result" notification by post. I procured a copy of the results and put it up on the notice board, he added.

"But FY BCom and TY BCom students are in a quandary as their results are not out yet. If some corrective measure is not taken immediately we plan to stop the exams on November 1. We have conveyed this to the MSU pro-vice chancellor today," he said.

According to Joshi, the inefficiency of the MSU examination centre has caused problems for students even in the past. "Last week a student who had to urgently submit his marksheet was unable to get a duplicate one though he had applied for it 35 days back. The administrative staff of the centre are apathetic to the problems of students. They also speak rudely to students," he said.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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Rajkot News Round up Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Times News Network

Rajkot News Round up
Jeweller's premises raided by IT men
The income-tax department raided a jeweller's premises here on Tuesday. IT officials said showrooms of Vinodrai Kamdar at Soni Bazar and the safe deposit vault, his house at Karanpara and at posh Kalawad Road were all raided. Rose Avon school owned by a jeweller group was also raided.

Quake victims get Rs 130.5 cr,/b>
As many as 1,26,949 quake affected families in Rajkot district have been given aid of Rs 130.5 crore, to enable them rebuild their homes, the collectorate stated on Thursday, adding the chief minister wanted the rehabilitation plan speeded up.

Special trains to clear Diwali rush
The Western Railway will run special Porbunder-Rajkot- Mumbai and Gandhidham-Mumbai trains from November 3 to clear the Diwali rush. Each rake will have nine sleeper coaches, five general coaches and a second class AC coach.

Water cut in Jamnagar
Water cut would be introduced in Jamnagar city after Diwali. In stead of getting water every alternate day, residents could it every third day till May.

Medical Council member
Saurashtra University syndicate member Bhavin Kohari has been unanimously elected member of the Medical Council of India. This is his second term at the MCI.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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New course in outfit design at NID soon Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: The NID at Ahmedabad is launching a four-year integrated programme in textile and apparel design from the next academic year. This integrated programme, pioneered by NID, is the first of its kind in the country. It seeks to adopt an integrated approach to develop multi-faceted design capabilities in students in the areas of textiles and clothing.

The course will encourage students develop a holistic approach to product development by involving designers right from the development of a fabric to the time it becomes a piece of clothing and a life-style product. Handloom development commissioner from New Delhi Rajendra Nair will inaugurate the Textile CAD-CAM Studio on Thursday as part of the launch. This studio is equipped with textile-related software used by the industry and will provide inputs in print, woven and jacquard design.

The NID E-learning Research Lab will also be inaugurated on Thursday. NID is trying to build a strong partnership with the private sector and industrial organisations, especially in the area of applied research. NID and Tata Interactive Systems are also coming together to establish and put in place a research lab at the institute.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]



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ONGC seeks US experts' help to contain fire Friday, November 2, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
VADODARA: Almost 72 hours after a well caught fire in the Gandhar oil fields during an oil pilferage attempt, ONGC has sought the help of experts from Huston Wild Well Control Company, US, on Thursday.

Rescue teams from Mumbai and Rajamundri (Andhra Pradesh) are also on their way and are expected to reach Gandhar by Friday evening, while experts from Huston Wild Well Control Company are expected to arrive on Saturday.

Meanwhile, ONGC acquired land in Pakhajan village from the gram panchayat to construct a water tank with a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters. Small approach roads leading to the disaster site will also be constructed through the newly-acquired land, sources said.

ONGC told police they are yet to identify the employee whose involvement in the pilferage attempt was pointed out by Bharuch police. ONGC officials said they are checking other units across India for the employee who the police suspect to have led a gang of pilferers to well no 345 at Gandhar. Bharuch police had named one Pandya as the ONGC official involved in the pilferage attempt. Police said Pandya fled along with other pilferers in a Tata Sumo.

Police also suspect the absconding pilferers, who received burn injuries, might have approached private hospitals in Vadodara. Bharuch police have informed Vadodara police who are checking private hospitals here. Bharuch police has also named Charanjit Sardar and one Shukla, both from Vadodara, to be involved in Tuesday's oil pilferage attempt in Gandhar.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]


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